These FAQs are intended to be useful in understanding the College’s mandate, policies, and procedures. Readers are advised that policies and procedures change. The College endeavours to update its FAQs and the website as efficiently as possible. The application of some procedures may depend upon the circumstances of a matter and therefore, may not occur the same way in every instance. The FAQs are for information purposes only and may not be relied upon as legal advice. To the extent that there are any inconsistencies between these FAQs and the provisions of the Health Professions Act or Part 4 of the College’s Bylaws, the provisions of the Act and Bylaws take precedence.
Yes. You are required to complete the coursework and practica sections of the application form. This information is used to evaluate the suitability of an applicant`s self-declared area of practice and/or intention to engage in specialized work (e.g., neuropsychology, working with children, forensics, etc).
All applicants, including graduates of APA/CPA accredited doctoral programs, are required to satisfy the Registration Committee that the program completed meets the criteria for resident study and training as specified in paragraph 12 of Schedule H.
As specified on the Application Form, please submit, with your application, a detailed description, in your own words, of how your program meets each of the criteria listed in Schedule H for the corresponding registration class. In addition to providing this descriptive response, we encourage you to also submit copies of the program catalogue and brochures, if available, published by the institution at the time you were enrolled in the program. This information will be useful when reviewing your program characteristics. Please note, the outline must describe how the program met the criteria at the time you attended.
For applicants who have completed all requirements for their degree, but have not yet convocated, the Registration Committee will accept a pre-convocation transcript for purposes of reviewing the application. The transcript must be accompanied by a signed letter from the Senate or Registrar of the University or appropriate Department of Psychology designate (e.g., Director of Clinical Training), indicating that all degree requirements have been fulfilled. Before they can be added to the Register, applicants are required to submit a post-convocation transcript indicating that the degree has been granted.
As specified on the Application Form, please submit, with your application, a detailed description, in your own words, of how your pre-doctoral internship meets the criteria listed in Schedule H. Please note, the outline must describe how the internship met the criteria at the time you attended. Brochures and/or other printed materials about the internship are also helpful.
The College`s registration requirements for education, training and experience are based on accredited, North American, training models in professional psychology. Applicants who are unfamiliar with accredited training standards, are encouraged to visit the websites of the following associations: Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), American Psychological Association (APA) and Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).
“Program in residence” means in-person participation in courses, seminars, practica and internships with face-to-face, in person, contact with faculty and other students at the degree granting institution and affiliated sites (See Schedule H). Distributed learning where students meet for blocks of time periodically during the year and other types of online training programs do not meet the College’s criteria for a program in residence, and the Registration Committee would not ordinarily consider such distributed learning or online training programs to be equivalent to a program in residence.
The College does not pre-approve degrees, internships, or applications. Education, training and experience are carefully reviewed once a completed formal application has been received. We receive many letters asking questions like those above. These are good questions and the answers can be found by a careful review of the bylaws (including Schedule H) which list the registration requirements. Completion of an APA or CPA accredited doctoral program, in residence, and accredited pre-doctoral internship reflects the basic standard of training for psychologists expected in most North American jurisdictions and is consistent with the criteria set out in Schedule H of the Bylaws.
If you wish to become a Registered Psychologist in British Columbia you must have graduated from a CPA or APA accredited doctoral program completed in residence and completed a CPA or APA accredited pre-doctoral internship or demonstrate equivalent education to a CPA or APA accredited doctoral program completed in residence and equivalent supervised practice experience to a CPA or APA accredited pre-doctoral internship. Please be advised, however, that your application may be rejected, or you may be required to undergo additional education, training or other upgrading of your knowledge, skills or abilities.
Applicants who have not completed both a CPA or APA accredited doctoral degree, in residence, and pre-doctoral internship, or the equivalent, are ordinarily ineligible for registration in British Columbia. You may still submit a registration application if you would like the Registration Committee to consider other evidence that you believe to be sufficient to demonstrate that your knowledge, skills and abilities are substantially equivalent to those expected of an applicant who has completed an accredited doctoral degree and pre-doctoral internship. Please be advised, however, that your application may be rejected, or you may be required to undergo additional education, training or other upgrading of your knowledge, skills or abilities.
As per the Psychologists Regulation, only those who are registered with the College of Psychologists as psychologists can use the title “psychologist”. The regulation currently provides for a limited number of exemptions based on employment setting and should be reviewed. Words such as “consultant,” “counsellor,” and “mental health” are not, currently, regulated terms.
Applicants for registration are welcome to inform their clients and employers that they have applied for registration. However, the Code of Conduct (9.7 (f))states:
Applicants for registration or registrants awaiting the awarding of a degree must not describe themselves as “candidate for registration” or “candidate for degree”, respectively.
Descriptions such as “Dr. Smith is currently completing her registration process with the College of Psychologists of BC” or “Dr. Smith is in the process of obtaining registration as a psychologist” are similarly misleading as they imply that the individual has met or will meet the standards for registration and that the outcome will inevitably result in registration. A simple statement such as, “Dr. Smith has applied for registration with the College of Psychologists of BC” is acceptable.
It is the policy of the Registration Committee to grant, upon request, a maximum of three consecutive, four month application deadline extensions. Each extension is subject to a fee. Fees may be waived in extenuating circumstances such as an applicant`s serious medical condition with confirming documentation. The College has found that two years is a sufficient amount of time for the overwhelming majority of applicants to complete the process.
The College does not grant waivers on the basis of recent maternity or paternity.
Psychologists registered in other jurisdictions who give testimony in B.C. cannot refer to themselves as “psychologists” unless they are registered with the College or entitled under one or more of the current exemptions in the Psychologists Regulation A psychologist registered in another jurisdiction who wishes to give testimony in B.C. may apply for Temporary (Visitor) registration. Temporary registration permits a psychologist to practice in B.C. for a time limited period.
The College of Psychologists regulates the practice of psychology in BC. If you practice psychology in BC and wish to refer to yourself as a ‘psychologist’, you must be a registrant of this College. The Psychologists Regulation currently provides for a limited number of exemptions based on employment setting and should be reviewed.
The Psychologists Regulation outlines the parameters for regulation of the provision of psychological services in British Columbia. Terms such as intern, counsellor, therapist, and consultant may be used by those not registered with the College.
No. The College does not provide pre-approval for degree programs. We receive many letters with questions like these from people interested in applying. Requirements for registration are found in the College’s Bylaws, including the schedules. If you want to become a professional psychologist, you are strongly encouraged to attend a CPA or APA accredited program, in residence, and complete a CPA or APA accredited pre-doctoral internship.
The College does not pre-approve programs. If you are interested in knowing what type of career a program will prepare you for, we recommend that you speak with the program’s director.
There are many aspects to professional psychology training and successful registration with the College; a graduate degree is one important element. Each application is considered on its own merit. For psychology students training in Canada and the United States, the Registration Committee recommends that they complete a psychology training program that is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association or the American Psychological Association (APA)/(CPA) and requires resident study and training.
Discussions remain ongoing with regard to other classes of registration. Any developments in this regard will be posted to the College website and information will be disseminated to stakeholder groups, as appropriate.
The College is a regulatory body under the Health Professions Act with the mandate of regulating psychological services in the public interest. The College does not offer employment services. While we do not maintain information on job openings, those interested are encouraged to check other websites such as the Canadian Psychological Association and the British Columbia health authorities.
You may contact the College through any of the methods listed here. Please be aware that if you telephone the College, depending on your issue you may be asked to submit your inquiry in writing.
Contacting the College:
By regular post or courier:
College of Psychologists of British Columbia
404 – 1755 West Broadway
By telephone: (604) 736-6164 (or toll free in BC at 1-800-665-0979)
By facsimile: (604) 736-6133
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday excluding Statutory Holidays
N.B.: Applicants must inform the College in writing of any changes to the required contact and demographic information.
N.B.: Applicants must bring government-issued photo identification to all examinations.
Legal names and professional or business names: The register of the College must include the full name of every registrant. The College requires that every registrant provide the College with his or her full legal name, and in the event that a registrant carries on practice using any different name, to also provide the College with his or her other professional, business or trade names, past and present. A registrant should provide the College with names exactly as spelled or punctuated in actual use. This assures that the registration status of any person may be readily ascertained or verified by any member of the public.
Right to collect, use and disclose information: To meet its statutory mandate under the Health Professions Act and to regulate the profession in the public interest, the College may collect, use and disclose information regarding applicants for registration, registrants, their patients/clients, other persons identified in patient/client files, and any person employed, retained, elected or appointed by the applicant. All data which the College provides to the Canadian Institute for Health Information is in aggregate form.
Duty to maintain confidentiality: The Health Professions Act requires that every individual employed, retained or appointed by the College, as well as every member of the College Board or a College Committee, preserve confidentiality with respect to all information coming to that person’s knowledge in the course of performing a duty or exercising a power, except where disclosure is necessary for the College to perform its function, or where disclosure is authorized by the Board in the public interest.
Applicants are required to complete both a Criminal Record Check and a national police check(s).
1. Criminal Record Check
Applicants must complete a Criminal Record Check in one of two ways:
2) Send the following to the College:
N.B. The College does not accept shared results of a criminal record check previously completed with the Criminal Records Review Program for another organization.
2. National Police Check(s)
Applicants must submit original documentation providing the results of a national police check or the equivalent for every jurisdiction in which the applicant resided during the five‐year period immediately before the date of application. If it is not reasonably practicable to obtain such documentation for the applicable Jurisdiction, a letter of explanation is required and will go before the Registration Committee.
For Canadian jurisdictions, the check must be completed by the police or RCMP. To obtain this check you must visit your local police department or RCMP detachment. Please note this is different from the Criminal Record Check required above.
For US jurisdictions, the check must be completed by the FBI.
For all other jurisdictions, a national check must be completed by the police or an equivalent authority. Each check must be the most comprehensive check available in terms of coverage of records checked. Applicants must arrange for completed police check(s)to be sent directly to the College.
National police checks are accepted up to the point of registration.
Upon successful completion of the registration process, you will be asked to provide this information. An extension for this requirements is granted to registrants in their first year but they must provide the College with the name of a registrant who has agreed to serve as their professional executor as soon as they have one and, in any event, no later than December 31st of the current year. For more information, please consult the Professional Executor Designation information sheet.
This means that the supervisor must be licensed to practice psychology in the province/state in which the supervision takes place and is in “good standing” with that regulatory body. Good standing is a term used to convey that the psychologist has paid their dues and do not have limitations or restrictions on their registration because of a complaint or disciplinary matter. A listing of state, provincial and territorial agencies responsible for the licensure and certification of psychologists throughout the U.S. and Canada can be found on the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards website
It is expected that a licensed/registered psychologist will oversee and have primary responsibility for practica and that the supervision will be provided by a psychologist so that the training received is primarily psychological in nature. While it is recognized that some diversity of supervision can provide a valuable learning experience, the bylaws specify that the required number of hours of an applicant’s supervised practica, internship and post degree supervised work, be provided by a psychologist who is licensed to practice psychology in the province/state in which the supervision takes place. Practicum and internship supervision requirements are set out in Schedule H of the College Bylaws.
Presently, the College only requires a supervisor on record with a description of the plan appropriate to the activities supervised. The supervision should be provided in a fashion and at a frequency sufficient to ensure that services are provided according to the standards outlined in the Code of Conduct.
Currently, applicants are not required to complete a certain number of supervised hours nor is the College tracking the number of hours applicants complete. The requirement for a prescribed number of supervision hours prior to registration has been built into the College’s new Bylaws but has not yet been enacted. The College will provide advance notice when the Board sets a date for the enactment of this requirement.
When the applicant is scheduled to take their final examination, supervisors will be sent a short form to indicate whether the supervision took place according to the plan submitted.
The federal government’s Agreement on Internal Trade (“AIT”) is a Canada-wide agreement intended to facilitate the mobility of professionals across the country. In British Columbia, the Labour Mobility Act governs how regulatory bodies are to recognize professionals licensed in other Canadian jurisdictions in British Columbia.
No. Applicants making an AIT/Mobility application are not required to be supervised in their work prior to registration. Applicants are obligated to be in compliance with the College’s Code of Conduct and are strongly encouraged to seek peer supervision or other consultation as appropriate. Applicants are not permitted to hold themselves out as a “psychologist” in BC prior to registration, unless otherwise exempted under the Psychologists Regulation’s current provisions.
An applicant for registration under the AIT holds current registration or license to practice psychology in a Canadian jurisdiction. Applicants who are licensed to practice psychology in the United States and who hold either a Certificate of Professional Qualifications (CPQ) or are registered with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (NRHSP) may be considered as mobility applicants for registration. The College Bylaws stipulate the conditions that must be satisfied for both types of applications.
The CPQ is the Certificate of Professional Qualifications and is a psychology credential issued by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). Having a CPQ is one item upon which a Mobility application with the College may be based. Please visit the ASPPB website for information about how to obtain a CPQ.
The National Register of Health Service Psychologists is a psychology credentialing organization. Being registered with the National Register is one item upon which a mobility application with the College may be based. Please visit the National Register of Health Service Psychologists website for information about how to become a registrant with the National Register.
APPLYING OUTSIDE OF CANADA/USA
Applicants with foreign credentials (excluding the United States) must have their degree evaluated for Canadian equivalency as part of the application process. For more information, please see the Foreign Trained Psychology Professionals section under the Applicant section of the website.
Yes, applications can be made from outside of Canada.
Payment must be included with the application form in order to make a formal application to the College. Please consult the Fee Schedule to determine the application fee associated with the registration class you are applying for. All fees are in Canadian dollars. Acceptable methods of payment are: cheque, money order or bank transfer. For more information on how to submit a bank transfer from outside of Canada, please contact the College.
CPBC will accept education credential assessments from an educational credential assessor designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for Education Credential Assessment.
The titles “registered psychologist” and “psychologist” are protected and reserved only for registrants of the College. While a degree credential evaluation is a requirement for internationally-trained applicants, there are a number of other registration requirements for the different classes currently available that a prospective applicant must meet in order to become a registrant of the College and be entitled to use one of the reserved titles.
Individuals registered with the College of Psychologists of BC are entitled to use the titles “Registered Psychologist,” “Psychologist,” “Associate Psychologist (Corrections)” and “Psychology Assistant.” In addition there are some limited exemptions as listed in the Psychologists Regulation. Words such as “consultant,” “counsellor,” and “mental health” are not currently regulated terms.
At present, the College does not have a special category for foreign trained psychology professionals. The College is actively working with other Canadian regulatory bodies and with the Registration Committee on issues related to psychology professionals trained outside the US and Canada. College Bylaws will reflect any developments from this work over time.
The College does have a fast track mechanism for individuals holding licensure as a psychologist in the United States (see A.I.T. / Mobility registration).
Please note that meeting the ECA requirement for skilled immigrants does not guarantee registration with the College. CPBC registration is a separate process, which involves a careful review of education, training and experience once a completed formal application has been received at the College. We encourage all applicants to carefully review the College Bylaws (including Schedule H), which list the registration requirements for the different classes of registration as well as the information on this website with regard to the different classes of registration.
The Registration Committee has the discretion to consider whether an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities are substantially equivalent to the standards of academic or technical achievement and the competencies expected of an individual who has completed a doctoral degree and pre-doctoral internship. The Committee requires that applicants who have not completed a doctorate make a submission, in writing, outlining how their program meets the program characteristics as per part C of Schedule H of the Bylaws.
If you have not completed an internship, you will need to provide information or further explanation regarding the training you completed (for example post degree employment and supervised practice) and how it is equivalent, in substance, to a pre-doctoral internship as described in Part F of Schedule H of the Bylaws.
The College has scheduled information meetings for foreign trained professionals who wish to become registrants of the College. These meetings are an opportunity for pre-applicants to ask questions of the College staff and obtain clarification regarding requirements. These meetings are designated specifically for foreign trained pre-applicants. Persons who have already submitted an application will have an opportunity to attend an orientation session for applicants.
Please feel free to complete a sign up form. As we tend to only receive a handful of requests each year, the College sets meeting dates according to number of requests received and notifies interested parties once a date is set.
Please note the College does not provide immigration assistance or any other immigration-related services.
Information about immigration to Canada is available on line from the Canadian government.
Check the website for the Citizenship and Immigration Canada department
WelcomeBC is a resource for newcomers and those thinking about living, working, studying or investing specifically in British Columbia.
The Active Career Advancement Project, funded by the Government of Canada’s Labour Market Integration Program and implemented by S.U.C.C.E.S.S., is committed to addressing the lack of alternative career support for underutilized immigrants. This initiative is a national pilot project offering integrated services to support. Visit their website for more information at http://acapcanada.ca/career-seeker/
EXAMS AND WORKSHOPS
Most applicants have their applications reviewed and are moved to the examination phase within three months from date of receipt of application. This includes AIT, Mobility and those applicants from APA/CPA accredited programs who’ve also completed APA/CPA accredited internships. This timeframe is dependent on an applicant’s comprehensive requests for and inclusion of all required documentation with application, timely completion and receipt of references from referees, verification of licensure elsewhere, etc. Any matters with regard to fitness to practice or good character can also impact the timeframe.
Once your file has been reviewed and deemed acceptable by the Registration Committee, you will be given permission to proceed to the examination phase. The schedule for the WJE can be found in the Application section of the website under Examination and Workshops.
Once your file has been reviewed and deemed acceptable by the Registration Committee, you will be given permission to proceed to the examination phase. The EPPP can be taken at a variety of sites across Canada and the United States. However, one needs to be an applicant for registration with a regulatory body in order to be eligible to write the examination. Please note that we must receive your request and administration fee for the EPPP before we will provide verification of your eligibility to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. For more information, please visit the Examinations and Workshops section of this website.
Within an application period, the EPPP may be written 3 times.
The oral exam is a standardized, scenario-based exam with specific criteria for scoring. There are three possible outcomes: (1) full pass; (2) recommended additional learning and/or supervision; and (3) fail. The entire exam may be repeated if failed or if additional learning and/or supervision is recommended. More information about the oral examination can be found under Examinations and Workshops in the Applicant section of this website.
Applicants for Registered Psychologist registration are welcome to sign up for the orientation workshop at any stage of the application process. It is required that they complete the workshop prior to the oral exam. The schedule for the orientation workshop can be found under Examinations and Workshops in the Applicant section of this website.